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Making 3D printable threads

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by srjacob, Aug 21, 2020.

  1. srjacob

    srjacob Senior Member

    Is there a tool that will allow me to create 3D printable threads? I know the thread tool only does cosmetic threads, but I want to create threaded holes and nuts. I know I can't print fine threads, but I should be able to print course ones. My old architectural CAD program (Vectorworks) has such a tool.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. HaroldL

    HaroldL Alibre Super User

    Yes, it's called Helical Boss and Helical Cut. There is a crib sheet of sorts in the Resources tab.

    edit: corrected feature name - thanks Nate, good catch.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2020
    jasonmburns likes this.
  3. NateLiqGrav

    NateLiqGrav Alibre Super User

    I think Harold meant Helical not Revolve.
  4. jasonmburns

    jasonmburns Member

    Is there a built in tool in Atom3D to make threads with the most common thread sizes in a drop down list or must it be looked up and entered manually for each cut? If it's not available in Atom3D, is it available in Design or Design Expert? I am coming over to Atom3D from Fusion 360. Their software had a selection of common thread sizes/pitches to choose from built right in their thread tool.

    I tried to post a link to the AutoDesk blog showing how this works, but it is being flagged as spam by the forum and will not let me post the link. You can Google tech-tip-threading-parts-in-fusion-360 to see how this works.

    Last edited: Sep 20, 2020 at 6:12 PM
  5. NateLiqGrav

    NateLiqGrav Alibre Super User

  6. jasonmburns

    jasonmburns Member

    Wow, I just bought Atom3D yesterday. I should have paid a little more for the Professional. Do you know if Alibre has an upgrade from Atom3D to the Pro at a discount?
  7. NateLiqGrav

    NateLiqGrav Alibre Super User

    Contact sales and I'm 99% sure they can quote you an upgrade price.
    jasonmburns likes this.
  8. Eddy So

    Eddy So Member

    It is suggested to download a trial version of Alibre Design Expert before you make decision to upgrade. I am a Fusion 360 (educational version) user before.
    jasonmburns likes this.
  9. jasonmburns

    jasonmburns Member

    Will installing the Design Expert trial interfere with my Atom3D installation?
  10. NateLiqGrav

    NateLiqGrav Alibre Super User

    Alibre Design and Atom3D use the same install base so both can not be installed and used at the same time.

    I believe the steps are:
    Save your license info somewhere.
    Release your license using the button on the Utilities tab.
    Install other version using trial key.
    jasonmburns likes this.
  11. simonb65

    simonb65 Alibre Super User

    ... or if you have another PC/Laptop, install the trial on that instead!
    jasonmburns likes this.
  12. JST

    JST Alibre Super User

    I am not sure that the marked feature has anything to do with what you really want.

    Unless Atom does not do helical extrudes or cuts, it looks to me as if you can do any thread and any threadform you want, by simply "cutting it" using the helical extrude/cut feature.

    And you will want to, in order to get what you want exactly.
    jasonmburns likes this.
  13. NateLiqGrav

    NateLiqGrav Alibre Super User

    I guess that depends on what @jasonmburns wanted to use selectable standard threads for?
    jasonmburns likes this.
  14. jasonmburns

    jasonmburns Member

    What I am wanting to do is use a tool like the helical boss/cut, except with a dropdown list of common thread sizes to do the hard work for me. In Fusion 360 they have such a tool. It looks similar to the tool in Alibre for the automatic graphical thread representations, except with Fusion 360 you have an option to make real threads or graphical thread representations. It's a checkbox named "Modeled." I am not sure if Alibre has an option to make real physical threads using the same option. From what people are telling me, it seems Alibre can only make graphical thread representations using a predefined list of common thread sizes, and making real physical threads using the helical tools require you to know and manually input the pitch, size, and all the other properties of the threads you want to create. I could be wrong.

    (Time 2:40) Here is how it works in Fusion 360:

    I just want to know if there is a solution in one of these three Alibre software packages because I am wanting to upgrade to Design if this feature is available. Otherwise I will stick with Atom3D and have to do it all manually I guess.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020 at 10:55 PM
  15. jasonmburns

    jasonmburns Member

    I will be using it for 3D printing.
  16. albie0803

    albie0803 Alibre Super User

    You are correct, Alibre Design DOES NOT have predefined full form, modelled threads. The external threading tool will mark a shaft as "threaded", and v22 will have the option of graphical threads, that cause a drawing to show thread marks and have a suitable callout for it.
    If you have the equation editor you could write formulae so that you would only need to adjust a few values to change a thread size and keep a "master template" file.

    Here is a "Master" file for metric bolts. Open it and open the Equation Editor. You can adjust the thread OD pitch and length with the top 3 values.

    calculations taken from here

    File removed as I found it has a problem. will fix tomorrow. (v22 at home)
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020 at 4:09 AM
    jasonmburns likes this.
  17. DavidJ

    DavidJ Alibre Super User Staff Member

    Sorry - no, that won't work. There is a single trial mechanism across all versions. If you really need to trial an alternate level of the product it's probably best to discuss with Alibre BEFORE you start making any changes to your system.
  18. NateLiqGrav

    NateLiqGrav Alibre Super User

    @jasonmburns My apologies for leading you astray - I didn't know your end usage or the details of running a trial - or I wouldn't have suggested it.

    From your perspective it probably seemed like I was talking about exactly what you wanted too - given the comparison page's header says "Part Modeling - 3D Creation". I've been advocating for a better comparison page that details actual tools instead of marketing mumbo jumbo.
  19. Lew_Merrick

    Lew_Merrick Alibre Super User

    Hi Jason -- I have done nothing about RH UN Threads, but if you look in Resources you should find my BOOLEAN Subtract Libraries for LH, ACME and other "not often used" threads. My thesis is the creating a portion of "not often used" threads acts to smack the machinist "up side of the head" to let them know that something is easily overlooked. -- Lew

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